By Deborah Kurfiss, Umbrella Content Marketing Director on Nov 25, 2022
Social media enables you to connect and engage with your client’s audience in a way you never could before. To do that, you need to understand how to write for social media. We’ve been hearing since the dawn of social media that at its best social media facilitates conversations not one-way advertising. Many businesses still haven’t got the memo, so you may need to explain this to some of your clients.
To successfully market, you should be using a variety of channels. But social media can make or break your campaign. Get your audience on your side, and they will evangelize for you, sharing your content and singing your praises. But people are also not shy about voicing their complaints. You need to understand your client’s audience of course, but you also need to understand the conventions of each social media platform.
Here’s some tips on how write social media posts that break through to your audience and engage them.
What makes your client’s audience tick? We aren’t talking about just which of your products they tend to buy. What motivates them? What are their challenges? What do they like? What don’t they like? Sure, start with general demographics, but you need to do more than that. You aren’t going to talk with CEOs the same way you talk to CFOs or CIOs. And you sure aren’t going to talk with them the same way you would talk with young people new to the work force, teen-agers or stay at home first-time moms.
And if you don’t know, ask. Social media offers great opportunities to survey and poll your audience.
You aren’t going to get far in social media unless you are posting content that is highly relevant to your audience.
No doubt you will be posting to more than one platform. We are sure you’re aware that there are tools that enable you to post to multiple platforms at the same time. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you SHOULD always be posting to all the social media platforms you use at the same time. So before you can understand how to write for social media, you need to understand the platforms you will be using.
Every platform has its own conventions, its own personality. The differences are pretty obvious between business-oriented LinkedIn and consumer-oriented TikTok, which a mix of posts including a lot of fun, casual posts. There always current TikTok trends, which could be dancing the latest TikTok dance to a particular tune or just about anything.
When creating a post for a specific platform, language matters. You are going to use a lot more slang, emojis and insider acronyms on TikTok than you will on LinkedIn or even Facebook.
To be effective on a platform, the creator of the post must be intimately familiar with that platform. They must get the vibe of that platform. That’s not going to happen when you just appoint some random staff member who is not active on a broad spectrum of social media to be your social media manager.
Though you should use language consistent with the platform, you must also use your client’s voice. Voice is an important aspect of your brand. When developing your voice, think about the image you want to project to your audience. Casual and friendly? Conservative and reliable? Fun and even a little googy? Your voice should be geared to your ideal customer. This should not be hard to reconcile, because you will choose the social media platforms where you can reach a client’s ideal customers.
Everybody is concerned with their own challenges and solutions that will help solve them. Nobody is waiting with baited breadth to learn the details of your client’s company at least not under normal circumstances. People are interested in how your client’s products and services can help them. So, keep your messages externally focused on your client’s audience and what they find relevant, interesting and helpful.
By its nature, social media posts are short. Don’t try to cram too much into a post. Choose your message and stick to it. If you try to say too much, you will end up making no impact at all.
Calls to action do not always need to be “Buy now.” You might encourage people to click a link to learn more detail on the website for example. Other possibilities are to encourage people to comment about their opinions or just share the post. If you don’t guide people toward a particular action, they are unlikely to take it. Part of knowing how to write for social media is choosing the correct call to action.
Keep your language as simple as you can. If you can say “use,” don’t choose “utilize.” Also, talk in plain language, not industry buzzwords that have lost all meaning if they ever had any. Write so your entire audience can understand you, at an 8th grade to 10th grade level.
Avoid long paragraphs. Most of the time, you will want each paragraph to be only a sentence or two for the sake of readability. And while you’re at it, keep your sentences short.
Don’t make your audience struggle to read your post. If you are using text over an image consider some kind of a background to make it more legible. Don’t make font size so small that people must squint to read it. When putting text into videos, make sure it’s up long enough for people to be able to read it through. Part of knowing how to write for social media is checking that your text is readable.
Also consider people with disabilities. Will your text be understandable to people using screen readers? If it’s mostly emojis rather than words, probably not. Use emojis if appropriate, but in addition to words rather than in place of them.
It goes without saying that you need to choose images and video that support your message. Social media is extremely visual. It’s usually images that will grab a reader’s attention and stop them from scrolling.
Some platforms such as LinkedIn are more text-focused than others. But often, a video or an image does not even need any words to get your message across.
Social media marketing is a complex skill unto itself. Every marketer does not need to know how to write for social media, but they should know how to provide that service to their clients If social media is not your marketing agency’s focus, consider reselling white label social media services. Umbrella can connect you with experts who can handle your clients’ social media needs from A to Z or just those parts you would like to outsource.
Contact Umbrella for a free consultation about how we can help your clients’ social media needs.
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